Honestly though, how often do you give your trusty espresso machine a good deep clean? How do you know it’s time?
First of all, coffee is a very oily substance. Every time you brew there will be residue, often left behind on the screen of your group head. Over time this residue builds up and can look like hardened black soot on an exhaust pipe. This build up taints the flavour of your coffee, often infusing your brew with a stale bitter taste. It can also cause blockage that can be detrimental to your coffee machine if left unnoticed.
To give your machine a thorough clean, a back-flush should do the job. This can be done with chemicals at the end of the day, or without throughout the day. The process of back-flushing cleans the shower-screen and group head solenoid, so the delivery of water remains consistent and does not negatively affect your extractions. Back-flushing is important because it removes taints of flavour in your coffee caused by old coffee oil residue.
Here at Delano we back-flush through the day, usually after the morning rush. This ensures a clean consistent brew for the rest of the day. We also do a quick flush right after every coffee extraction. Unlike a back-flush, a quick flush only flushes water out to remove excess coffee ground stuck on the shower-screen.
At the end of the day, we thoroughly wipe the group heads to remove heavy grime followed by a back-flush with our cleaning powder, Cafiza.
How often you should clean your espresso machine, will depend on the frequency and the volume of coffee you brew. If you make a lot of espresso, you will also have to clean your machine more frequently and vice versa. However, a good clean machine is always ideal, the cleaner the better.
Here’s our recommendation for you home brewers:
1. Always give your group head a quick flush right after an extraction.
2. Do a back-flush, without any cleaning chemicals everyday.
3. Run a back-flush with cleaning chemicals every 2-3 days or one a week.